Author: Parker Girard

Yo Ho Ho

Looking back on the last few weeks, it’s becoming apparent that we’re making quite a bit of rum-based cocktails.  And frankly, it’s easy to see why.  Rum is one of the most versatile spirits, and there are so many different kinds and production methods that it can be difficult to sort the good from the bad.  Here are a few of our favorites.

Cana Brava Rum
This is what white rum should taste like.  Cana Brava is a Cuban-style white rum, which basically means it’s Bacardi without all the astringency and unpleasant nose.  If you’re looking to do white rum cocktails like daiquiris, swizzles and mojitos, look no further.  Good luck finding it, though.  It can be difficult to find at most liquor stores, but most stores worth their salt can probably obtain it for you.

Smith and Cross
We want the funk.  Perhaps the most polarizing rum on this list, the overwhelming funk, or “hogo,” is enough to make some imbibers run for cover. When making rum-based cocktails with Smith and Cross, it’s sometimes better to add a 1/2 oz to  1 1/2 oz of a different rum, just to round out the cocktail with some super funky flavors.

Goslings Black Seal Rum
We might get some flack for putting this on the list (Gosling’s doesn’t get a lot of respect in the tiki community, or so I’ve been told), but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t adore this stuff.  Plus, you can’t make a Dark & Stormy without Goslings.  So there’s that.

Ron Zacapa 23
Our favorite sipping rum, with plenty of honey notes and just a slight touch of funk.  You don’t know what you’re missing.

El Dorado 12
Demerara rum with character.  Actually, we don’t even carry this stuff, but we should.  And we will.  1 oz of Cana Brava and 1 oz of El Dorado 12 make a great mojito, as long as you don’t mind breaking convention.

Lemonhart 151
Any list of rums wouldn’t be complete without a 151, and this is the best around.  Except it’s not around, because you can’t get it in the states anymore.  Hold up a lighter in the air and silently hum “Dust in the Wind” to yourself while thinking of all the Lemonhart you can’t consume anymore.  Still, Hamilton’s 151, the rum brought to market to replace Lemonhart, will do just fine if you don’t have a guy who knows a guy.

Tales from the Elix: Blockbuster Night Pt. 1

As we’ve talked about in the past, inspirations for cocktails and flavor combinations can come from just about anywhere.  This one came from a macaroon.

More specifically, the idea for this cocktail came from a honey lavender macaroon in Georgetown, after my girlfriend and I stopped in a tiny macaroon shop to see if we could use their bathroom.

We couldn’t, but we wanted some anyway.  We bought a small sample pack, and I was intrigued by the honey lavender macaroon when I saw it listed on their menu.  I wasn’t disappointed.

I immediately knew we were going to use that flavor combination in a cocktail.  We have been working with Ron Zacapa 23 a lot lately, and I figured the honey notes prevalent in the rum would go nicely with these flavors.

The best part is, after tasting the cocktail, our kitchen was seen purchasing two large bundles of lavender, intrigued by the floral sweetness of honey and lavender working together.  Inspiration can come from the strangest places, after all.

After spending a week on our rotating menu, this cocktail is slowly making its way onto our house cocktail list in the Elixir Bar, and we couldn’t be more excited.  See you all downstairs.

#1 – Blockbuster Night Part 1- Parker Girard
2.0 oz Ron Zacapa 23
0.25 oz Honey Syrup (2:1)
2 dashes Orange Bitters
1 dash Lavender Bitters

Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass for ~20 seconds, then strain into a double old fashioned glass over a large cube.  Garnish with a lemon wheel, thrown in the glass.

And of course, for your viewing pleasure: